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Commentary: Move to legalize jueteng

By Ma. Nila O. Argel

Vigan City (29 September) -- It is a great challenge for the Aqunio Administration to stop jueteng as President Noynoy Aquino promised to stop corruption in the government. Jueteng is the root cause of corruption for officials in the government.

Jueteng has been in existence for a long period of time. It has been the cause of ouster of former President Joseph Estrada. With this scenario, there are officials who want jueteng legalized. It could bring in money to the government coffers in the form of tax and provide protection to the people working and betting in jueteng.

However, local residents have opposing views.

Jean Tamargo of Sto. Domingo town here in Ilocos Sur wants it legalized because the problem has not been solved for a long time now. Imposition of big tax to the operators and bettors hopefully might discourage the people to engage in jueteng.

Analyn Gascon of Sinait and Ellaine Makil of Galimuyod think that the government should not be complacent in its fight to curb jueteng. If jueteng becomes legal, more Filipinos will experience hardship since they will pin their hopes from winning in the numbers game instead of earning a living. The government will be teaching families to gamble instead of inculcating the values of hard work.

Robert Dauz of Tagudin is not in favor of the legalization of jueteng. He said that it is immoral and it could be stopped if there is political will of the officials of our government.

While Jam of Bantay likens jueteng operators to insects; insects sip blood while jueteng operators sip the money that is hard-earned by some tricycle drivers, market venders, or government employees. Jueteng is stealing and if legalized we are legalizing stealing, he said. (PIA Ilocos Sur) [top]

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